Health

Comfort From A Furry Friend

Lindsey Keal

Lindsey Keal

Today our black cat reminded me how comforting the presence of an animal is.  I had asthma as a child and spent many hours in bed with a vaporizer.  My cat Mitten (who I was not allergic to) would cuddle up with me and purr.

Many nights I went to sleep to the comforting sound of singing and purring of my cat.  Batman, our black cat, reminded me this morning how comforting that sound can be.  It brought back warm memories of long ago when the sound calmed me, comforted and helped me breath at a slower rhythm.

Animals add so many wonderful things to our lives.  They add entertainment and companionship, acceptance and unquestioning love.  I thankful for the furry family members I’ve known over the years, they’ve added their share of smiles and tears to my memories and will never be forgotten

Cherry Coley (c).

Get a New Perspective

animals.nationalgeographic.com

animals.nationalgeographic.com

Life is challenging at times.  If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves feeling cornered, over whelmed, tired, and stressed.  Things happen, unexpected events, circumstances change in moments.

Life is merciless and can come at a rapid pace that leaves us breathless and feeling helpless.  The thing to remember at such times is, this too shall pass.  It’s a cliché, but it’s still true.  Moments both good and bad only last for moments.

Sometimes all it takes to change a situation is to change your perspective.  My art teacher taught me long ago, when getting frustrated while working on a portrait a long time, sometimes you get too close to the subject and the picture can start to look off.  The best thing to do is put the picture up awhile, go do something else, then come back to it later.  When you take it out later, turn it upside down and you will immediately see any flaws in the portrait.

There are a lot of things that work the same way.  When you work on something a long while, your stress level and emotional involvement can skew your perspective.  It’s important to work with a partner, or have trusted friends who will tell you when something is off, or perhaps help you take a break and see things differently.

Finances, for instance, can weigh heavily on the mind, cause lack of sleep, stomach aches, and stress that affects the body and mind.  Still, we have the option to ask for help, seek guidance, and the ability to look up possible solutions literally at our fingertips.

Jim Rohn said, “Everything you need is already available to you.”  I had to think about that awhile, because I tell you, it didn’t feel like everything I needed was available earlier this year.  Yet, after reading books, studying classes, searching for resources and taking advantage of just part of the things I have access too and have available to me, I realize Jim Rohn is right.

Don’t allow yourself to feel cornered or down.  You have a choice, you are in control of your attitude and the emotions you choose to use at any given moment.  If what you’re doing each day doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled, or like your accomplishing something, happy, or content, then take a look at what’s going on in your life and how you’re responding.  Perhaps you need a break, a change in perspective.

Cherry Coley ©

Decisions, Cross Roads, Challenges and Me

askvilleEvery now and then I find myself at a crossroad in life.  A time and place where you know you need to choose a direction, make a decision and that the choice you make will affect the rest of your life. 

I’ve sat at this crossroad wondering how I got there, trying to look at it objectively and thinking that once I saw the decisions I needed to make in the clear light of day, there was no debating, no wondering, no hesitation at all, the choices are simple.

You see, when I moved away from my ex husband my self-confidence was gone, my self-esteem was non-existent, and my self-worth was hiding in a dark corner somewhere.  The verbal and emotional abuse had taken its toll and it has taken a long time to get back to…me.

So, after going through a very rough holiday season where I spent a lot of time alone, grieving and generally feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly realized that I was choosing to feel alone, choosing to grieve, choosing to feel sorry for myself.  I had to stop and think about that awhile.  What else have I been choosing either by doing nothing, trying to ignore things, or just not dealing with things I knew I needed to own up too?

The answers have astounded.  How did I find them?  By truly looking at where I was and thinking about how I want to be remembered when I’m gone.  If I were to die 3 years from now, what would the people in my life say about me?  I didn’t like the answers my mind came up with.  I have a lot of work to do.  There’s nothing like visualization to get your goals clearly back in focus. 

One thing I’ve learned is that it takes far more energy to sit down and put up with things, force yourself to accept things, and look the other way, than it does to stand up, take responsibility, own up to your mistakes and take charge of your life. 

When you find yourself feeling bored, unhappy, depressed, or just down, ask yourself why?  Are you choosing to feel that way?  Or are there things you are allowing to go on in your life that are not in sync with who you are and what you believe as a person?  Either way you have choices, you have options and possibilities.  Stand up and take action!  It will change your perspective and your life.

Cherry Coley (c)

Begin With the End In Mind

startHave you ever struggled trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B?  One good way to figure out how to set priorities and goals is to visualize where you want to go, see yourself there, then start thinking of what you can do to get to the place you want to be. 

What about life?  Don’t you hate it when your employer asks you that dreaded question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  How about looking even further into the future? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What about when you retire?

If you really want to have something serious to think about, what would you want people to say about you in your eulogy? If you can visualize your friends, family, co-workers and the people at your church or the charity you work with getting up to share a few words about your life.  What sort of things would they say?  What do you want them to say?

It makes you stop and think doesn’t it?  It did me.  It’s made me realize where I’ve fallen short, the mistakes I’ve made and all the work I still need to do.  It’s made me realize I need to invest a lot more time in the people I care about and appreciate. 

Life is short, time is precious and there’s no time like the present to get started.  Start with the end in mind and put your heart and soul into where you want to be, the influence you’d like to have and the legacy you’d like to leave. You will leave a legacy, the great thing is you have a choice what that legacy will be. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Doctor Doctor!

doctorsexterioraerial300Today I am thankful for doctors.  I spent a lot of time in hospitals with my mom over the years.  She was a 3 time cancer survivor and had other health problems that came about due to the lingering effects of the chemotherapy she had to endure.

 I am thankful for the care and kindness of the nurses that would come in and check on us, and the doctor taking the time to explain the parts of the treatment that we didn’t understand.  I am also thankful for the Chaplains who would take the time to come by and visit with mom when we couldn’t be there.

 In some of the hospitals the rooms were made where you could stay overnight if you wanted which was really nice.  I am thankful that both my parents had good attitudes while they were in the hospital which also helps. 

I had to have cesarean sections with both of my daughters.  I am thankful for the skill and care of the nurses and doctors that made sure that we were all healthy and well cared for. 

 I don’t really like to be in hospitals because they bring back so many memories, but I am thankful that we have hospitals and that they are available when we need them.  I am thankful for all the men and women who work tirelessly, under paid and many time underappreciated to give us that good care that is needed.

I do not have the stomach or the temperament to be a doctor or a nurse, but I am thankful there are people that do. When was the last time you stopped to think about your doctor and nurse as people, with homes and loved ones of their own?  I know there have been times when I called after hours and my doctor took the time to call me back to answer my questions.  That was time taken away from his family.  Take a moment today to send your doctor a thank you note, or a card of encouragement, you will make their day and remind them that what they do really does make a difference.

Cherry Coley (c)

The End or the Beginning?

“Every Beginning has an end, every end had a beginning.” 

It’s a funny quote that can lead to some deep thought if you let it.  It’s sad sometimes when things come to an end.  There are a lot of things we don’t like to see end, yet everything in life has a beginning and an end.

When relationships end it can be a sad event.  You don’t really want them to, but things just start to drift apart.  Sometimes you can stop the drifting and sometimes you can’t.  I’ve been in relationships like that where things just changed and it was time for the relationship to change too.  On a few of those occasions I was fortunate enough to see the relationship evolve and become a lasting friendship, in other cases it was simply time to say goodbye.

How we respond to the changes in life can help define who we become.  After all, if there is one thing that is constant and certain in life it is the fact that life will change.  We will lose people, animals, friends, family, in our lives.  They will leave, move, die, or just choose not to be a part of our lives anymore.  It’s just the way things go

We have a choice how we will respond to these changes.  We can hold on for dear life and choke any chance for reconciliation or healing out of existence.  Or we can learn to truly love with an open hand and realize that love, friendship, all relationships (other than those of parent and child) are a choice.  Actually, in some ways I suppose the parent and child relationship is a choice too. 

Keeping in mind that the people in your life are there because they CHOOSE to be there can lend a different perspective.  Realizing that it’s a choice that they are there can make a you appreciate the other person more, treasure and make the most of your time you do have together instead of wondering why the person falls short of all the expectations  put on them. Take a moment to appreciate that they are there because they care and they want to be there, and maybe a different approach is what is needed if there is stress in the relationship.  Take a break.

This is life, there are no dress rehearsals, no redo’s, no rewind or erasing moments that suck.  You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  BUT…isn’t it nice, we have a choice, we can get up in the morning and change our attitude to thinking that each day, is a new beginning and then make it happen.

Tomorrow, will be the start of something new.

Cherry Coley (c) 

 

Facing Fears

Dark forest

Dark forest

I faced another fear today.  You see, I used to have a major fear of getting up in front of people.  When I was growing up I was forced to sing solo many times in church.  I hated that.  I have the kind of singing voice that goes well with a duet or choir, but solo’s are not my thing.

I was also in drama growing up which didn’t go that well either.  I had some mishaps on stage and most of the time I couldn’t make myself speak loud enough to be heard.  Yet, after I had my kids something changed.  Suddenly I was “mom” and mom’s can’t cower in corners from monsters under the bed, or spiders on the wall, they have to face fears and protect their children.

When my kids were still little I did a Christmas play, I only had a small speaking part, and just as I was about to get that familiar stage fright, I remembered that I had to speak to classrooms of kids regularly, referee, and protect my kids from bullies so why should I be afraid of saying a few words in front of people?

Still, today was a big step for me.  I have felt like I should tell my story to others.  After all when you’ve been through so much in life, you should share your experiences, maybe it will help someone else.  I have gained some confidence in sharing things on blogs and social media, but that’s not the same as truly putting yourself in front of other people.

Today I shared part of my life’s journey in church.  I feel like I did ramble a bit, but over all it went pretty well.  When I stepped up I felt the old familiar fear, and all week I almost talked myself out of it, but there was a part of me that refused. I need to face my fears, they are self-made obstacles that have held me back for far too long.

A funny happens when you face fears, they dissipate just like that, they are gone.  I was nervous going up to the podium, then suddenly I wasn’t afraid anymore.  One fear down, many more to go.  One big step forward to what might be a very interesting future.

Take time this year to look at the things that have held you back in your life.  Are they real fears or are they self-made obstacles?  Take a chance and find out, false fears can’t hold their ground when you stand up to them.  Realize that the only limits you have are the one’s you’re placing on yourself.  Choose to make this year count!

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Tipping the Scales and Maintaining Balance

balanceI used to think that multitasking was one of my strongest talents.  I juggle a lot of things at the same time.  Yet, this past year I kept finding myself having to slow down and focus on just one thing and at times it felt inhibiting, frustrating even.

 The problem with constantly multitasking is that you never truly master the “one” thing if your time and focus is on a lot of other things at the same time.  There are times when single-mindedness is a true blessing and there are some people who have the gift of focusing so intently that they stay with the “one” thing until they understand it through and through before moving on to the next thing.

 Those same people with such extraordinary focus sometimes complain about not being able to multitask.  To me that is the balance the universe threw in just for fun and another case where we are shown that we need each other to make things run smoothly.

 Balance is something that is sought by most people.  There are tons of books written about how to gain balance in work and home life.  There will be just as many more written in the future as we all try the different solutions to find the one that best works for us.

 For those people who are able to attain balance, they must stay aware and keep on top of their circumstances and events in their lives to keep the balance.  We all struggle at some point.

 The answer lies within the person seeking balance.

 For me, I have many projects and interests that I weed down to a few.  From that point I take those that are related to each other and group them together.  If they can be done around the same time then all is well, if not then each project will be allotted its own time and energy individually.  Some projects will be put aside until other projects are finished.  It’s important to prioritize.

 Balance is vital to keep up a healthy, mental, emotional, social, and physical life. 

 I read a quote the other day in the book – “The Success System that Never Fails” – by James Allen.  The quote said, “Eventually you will be controlled by your circumstances, so it’s important to control your circumstances now.”  I’ve thought about that quote a lot since then, I can’t think of a better call to action, to get up, take responsibility for your health, your surroundings and your life right now than that.

 Cherry Coley ©

Let’s Do This!

startThose who really want to accomplish something will find a way; those who are not committed will find an excuse.

When you make excuses about why things didn’t get done, or create obstacles to use as an excuse to give up on that project, diet, or exercise routine the only person you are really hurting is yourself, right?  Wrong.  Like it or not we are all part of a community of sorts.  We each have friends, co-workers, and family members in our lives that pay attention to our choices and decisions.  What you do and don’t do, affects the people around you.

 Someone who make excuses about meeting deadlines, or personal goals rarely exceeds anywhere else.  I know for me I have to be careful because the excuses try to slip in there unnoticed when I least expect it.  “I can’t go jogging tonight, it got dark outside too quick,” or “I wound up running errands for other people the last few days and it threw me off my whole routine.”

 Life happens, accidents, incidents, whatever might come up can either be worked in, worked around, or incorporated into daily routines if you are really committed to a positive goal.

 Let’s make 2013 a year when we reach our goals.  Let’s make it a year of encouragement for the people around us, the year to do random acts of kindness and start something good. 

 I am determined to do some charity walks this year so I have started training to be able to reach those goals.  It’s something I used to do quite often, but it’s been awhile.  I look forward to doing my part, to giving back, to raising money for good causes and most of all, I look forward to crossing the finish line and knowing I stuck in there and made it! 

 2013 is going to be a great year!  Let’s do this!

 Cherry Coley ©

Putting the Past in its Place

IMG_0097Don’t give your strength and focus to the things that you want to be rid of in your life.  There’s no such thing as living in the past.  What you are actually doing is spending your time now thinking about things you cannot relive or change.

It’s human nature to reflect on situations and experiences.  We look back wishing we could experience an event again, or be with a person one more time, or maybe go back and change something, not say something, or do more for someone than we did at the time.

The most useful thing about the past is that if we let it, the past can guide us to live a better future, to pay more attention to details and what matters, to spend our time more wisely.  Life is a journey and the path behind us reminds us of where we’ve been, what we’ve been through can encourage us to keep going and can remind us that we will be able to handle whatever comes our way.

However, unresolved issues, grievances and hurts can make a person think too much on what once was, how they wish it were different or long for those that have moved on.

There are a lot of people hurting and feeling alone.  You are not alone.  You are not the only one hurting.  You are remembered and loved.  You are not forgotten.  It’s amazing what these words do and how they can make you feel. 

If you are hurting, reach out and talk to the people you care about and that care about you.  You aren’t imposing, even though you might feel like you are.  When someone truly cares they are happy to know they can help.  Let them help, let them have the blessing and the loving feeling that comes when you allow someone to help you.   Someday you will be in a position to help someone else that needs it and the blessing will be yours.

Today center your heart and mind on where you are and where you want to go.  Greet the day with the spirit of gratefulness for the blessings in your life.  You still have things you enjoy, people you love, opportunities yet to be realized and exciting new things to experience.  There is much to be grateful for each day.

 Train your brain and heart to be both grateful and aware of the things and people around you.  You will start to notice a change in your outlook and it will make a difference in your life and the people around you.  Like ripples on the water, the attitude of one affects others around them.

 Start today putting the past in its place so you can embrace your future dreams and live in the present. 

 Cherry Coley ©